Heard April 1, 2014
Appeal from Beaufort County. William H. Seals, Jr., Circuit Court Judge. Appellate Case No. 2012-208487.
AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART, AND REMANDED.
James A. Brown, Jr., of Beaufort, for Appellant.
Attorney General Alan M. Wilson, Chief Deputy Attorney General John W. McIntosh, and Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Donald J. Zelenka, all of Columbia, and Solicitor Isaac McDuffie Stone, III, of Bluffton, Respondent.
[411 S.C. 403] KITTREDGE,
Appellant Jaquwn Brewer was convicted of multiple charges in connection with the shooting of two individuals at a nightclub. This direct appeal concerns the admission of Brewer's unredacted audiotaped interrogation by the police. The admission of Brewer's interrogation was error. We nevertheless affirm Brewer's convictions for assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, for the error was harmless with respect to these charges. We reverse the murder conviction and remand for a new trial.
On May 23, 2009, a large group of people gathered at the Semper Fi Club (the Club) in Beaufort County, South Carolina, for a party. After midnight, as the party continued, law enforcement officers responded to a shooting at the Club. Two individuals were shot, one fatally. The investigation revealed that the first shooting occurred inside the Club and the second shooting occurred moments later in the Club parking lot.
The First Shooting
Brewer and several of his companions were posing for photographs inside the Club. The photographer, Gary Bright, and several other attendees noticed that Brewer was posing with a handgun. A photograph introduced at trial confirmed that Brewer had a handgun in the front waistband of his pants. One of the organizers of the party, Deon Stevenson, was alerted, and he asked Brewer to take the gun out of the Club. Brewer responded by pulling out the handgun and [411 S.C. 404] pointing it at Stevenson's head, which others in the Club witnessed.
Immediately thereafter, Brewer shot his gun inside the Club, hitting Donald Parker, who was standing near the photo booth. There were numerous witnesses to the shooting of Parker. Parker survived the shooting. Brewer was charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime as a result of shooting Parker.
The Second Shooting
Patrons, including Brewer, fled the Club after the first shooting. Moments later, more shots were fired outside the Club in the parking lot by at least two individuals, including Brewer and Dominique Middleton. Henry Jones was standing in the entrance to the Club dialing 911 when a stray shot from the parking ...